Retail Roundup – January 2024

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

As we reflect on the beginning of another year, we observed the major multiple grocers teeming with a dynamic mix of promotional activity.

Events were very much flavour of the month, ranging from Pet and Home, through to Baby & Toddler, Pancake Day, Valentines Day, Ramadan, Lunar New Year and even a Great Savings event. Amidst so many options, some might say it was a touch overwhelming for shoppers with the sheer volume of offerings.

Of course, no January is complete without the obligatory Aldi & Lidl price match battles and the enduring value emphasis featuring heavily throughout their non-event retailer communications.

From a brand perspective, it was great to see an underrepresented category shine. Frozen products experienced a notable increase in activity across a variety of brands and retailers.

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Retail Roundup 2023 – A year in review

During 2023 the UK grocery retail sector experienced some significant transformations…

We were thrilled to witness the major multiples loosen their shackles on brands, which vastly increased creative in-store activations, whilst HFSS guidelines prompted a significant rise in branded in-aisle activity.

Retailers also dedicated greater efforts to creating meaningful online content for Shoppers, with interesting campaigns and initiatives to be found on their websites.

An exciting year, we’re sure you’ll agree!

For those familiar with our monthly Retail Roundups, you’ll know we love to tour the stores to see what’s hot (and sometimes not) and share our findings with the wider retail community.

It’s therefore been our pleasure to seize this opportunity and highlight the very best of the best in this Annual Review; brought to you by a panel of our own retail experts, celebrating the gems we uncovered during 2023.

Download to see which activation we felt beat all others to be crowned our ultimate winner of the year.

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Retail Roundup Report – December ’23

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

As we reflected on the 2023 retail calendar, we wanted to do something a little different for our December ’23 review.
Being a part of the Altavia Group, with over 65 retail-focused businesses spanning 45 countries, we’re privileged to have a front-row seat to the diverse array of retail landscapes.

So, we thought we’d wrap up the year by delving into the collective wisdom of our global colleagues and seeing the exciting in-store activities they observed during December.

We hope you enjoy this broader perspective of the retail scene.

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Retail Roundup Report – November ’23

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

As the weather got colder, we saw the grocery multiples focus switch to Christmas with all retailers fighting for shopper spend. You know the festive battle has well and truly kicked in when the first Bailey’s 1 litre promotion lands, this year courtesy of Sainsbury’s.

We’ve seen BWS and confectionery dominate in-store theatre this year, but November saw chilled brands coming to the fore, using high level signage and floor media to inject some engagement into what can be challenging categories .

Floor media has been much maligned over the years, but we saw a resurgence across the mults and in different categories. Whether this is temporary or a sign of brands and retailers embracing some of the older, less loved tactics only time will tell.

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Retail Roundup Report – October ’23

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

Halloween and Diwali took centre stage this month, both in store and online, in a welcome departure from last year when both events had a considerably muted presence in the major multiples.

We continued to see a notable uptick in branded activity across the top 5 grocers, although Morrisons are still playing catch up in terms of in store theatre when compared to their competitors.

Predictably, confectionery and sweet treat brands prominently featured throughout October. In addition, we saw activity across a variety of categories including Pet, BWS, Home and Food, all adding to the engaging shopping experience we encountered this month.

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Retail Roundup Report – September ’23

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

Asda really raised their game this month with lots of brand activity in store and a very impressive revamp to the toy category. It was nice to finally see a toy aisle full of excitement and vibrancy.

We saw a mix of event-based POS in different stores, ranging from Diwali, to Halloween and even the first serious nod to Christmas.

Charity based activity rose to prominence across a variety of brands and retailers, with either a pence per pack or meal donation mechanic.

There was a noticeable disconnect with online and in store activity, except for Morrisons, with Halloween and Waitrose with their new Japanese inspired range of ready meals.

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Retail Roundup Report – August ’23

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

August brought a diverse range of activities across the grocery retailers. To provide a quick overview, we observed various initiatives related to the Barbie Movie, Back To School/University, a celebrity collaboration in cooking mixes, confectionery-branded displays, and even the first Christmas point-of-sale materials.

The Beers, Wines & Spirits category again led the way, although we saw some ambient grocery brands closely following suit, taking full advantage of the leniency we are seeing from the major retailers in terms of branded activity.

Value added promotions continued to play a significant role in-store. We also saw the first sampling activity for some time, courtesy of Belvita.

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Retail Roundup Report – July ’23

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

Many retailers experienced a lull in July, and as summer promotions gradually faded, it ironically mirrored the washout weather.

The Back-to-School campaigns began to make their mark, notably among the major players.

The Beers, Wines & Spirits category was the leader this month, dominating the in-store experience across all stores. Their commitment was evident with significant investments in both off and on-shelf displays.

In tandem, there was a notable surge in branded on-pack and value-added promotions. Brands are clearly ramping up efforts to captivate shoppers and secure their spending in an increasingly competitive economic environment.

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Retail Roundup Report – June ’23

Providing on the ground insights from retailer-led events and brand-specific campaigns, to sales promotions and experiential activity.

Father’s Day dominated the earlier part of the month and featured across all major grocery retailers both online and in-store. Sainsbury’s again stole the show with their approach to the event, having strong retailer comms and allowing brands to show their creativity within the event.

Morrisons dedicated their power aisle to the charity partnership they have with Together for Short Lives, highlighting donations for every product purchased in the aisle. We were a touch surprised to see quite muted activity for Pride Month and Eid al-Adha, with only a couple of retailers having any focus or branded displays in store.

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